Sunday, January 31, 2010

Awards for YOU!

Thank you everyone for your wonderful writing on Writers Rising. We are continuing to grow and add new authors every day. Today, Tony (a fellow Writers Riser) presented this site with two awards. Tony has a wonderful blog called Artisan of the Human Spirit and he also has a book coming out this year. I look forward to more excellent writing, thoughts and observations by all the people here. It is so wonderful to share this space with all of you. I believe that when we work together and share our thoughts and ideas, we begin to understand more about the world and each other. This is our own little virtual writing group. Make use of it by sharing your writing here and by leaving comments for the other writers on this site. If you have any suggestions on how this site could be further developed, send me an e-mail. In the meantime, keep writing and keep sharing. That's what this place is all about. These awards are for ALL of you. Much peace, Katherine

Introducing Deb...

Hi everyone! It is great to be here and I would like to sincerely thank Kathy for making room for one more Aussie blogger!

My name is Deb Holmes and I, like all of you here, love to write. One of my dreams is to be a published author of children's books. Having worked as a teacher for 9 of the last 11 years, I found that the time and head space needed to develop this dream were sorely lacking. However, last year I started blogging. It, too, was something I was going to "put off" until I had more time but I bit the bullet and have embraced the blogging world with open arms. I feel I am still finding my feet in a way but I do really love it and I find that blogging is a good way to express myself as well as improve my craft. There is also a hope that my writing will encourage or inspire my readers. Perhaps something I say will strike a chord or resonate with what someone may be facing at a given point in time. I don't believe we are put on this earth to be solo flyers... I believe that we should encourage and build one another up with our words, actions (and text!).

My husband and I have just relocated to a new state and I have finished up teaching. This new season of my life (and having more time) will hopefully be the catalyst for a number of new and exciting things in my life, not the least of which is writing. Watch this space!

Some other things you should know about me... I am a very passionate person and don't like to do things in halves. I am a committed Christian. I have been married for almost 7 years and love my husband to bits... he is my best friend and I love sharing life with him. I am a dog-lover and have 2 adorable pooches of my own that are currently all I have in the way of children. :)

I think I'll keep it pretty short for now... If you want to find out more, you can check out my blog 'write minded...'

See you soon...

A Day with the Dawn

      No one has spoken. The world is still asleep, not even the sun has crawled out of bed. No sounds of traffic except my bare feet motoring to the coffee pot. Dawn, those magical hours before the world, responsibilities and animals awake is MY time. My parents told stories of me, as a child, wandering around the house during the dawn hours. Four to five hours of sleep is usually all I need (or get) and my day always begins with dawn. Dawn is the fertile damp soil under my fingers, it is that jolt of coffee, the cold shower that tells me I am alive to my heart, to my dreams, to my hopes and some days, to my fears.
      Dawn is the wedding march played with gusto in the sanctuary of the sky to announce the bride’s, the sun’s, arrival. The bride’s blushing sweeps across the sky in hues of reds, purples and orange. The sun’s train sweeps slowly across the sky revealing the new day, the blue sky and clouds. A new day has dawned. I have seen dawns, the wedding march, for 365 days times fifty six years and yet I say each day that a new day has dawned. I welcome each dawn as if none other existed. And when the march has ended and the sun stands firm in the sky I join the vows of love for the earth, her creatures and her children young and old.
      A new day is dawning and its magic inspires and beckons the poet and artist. So what the heck happens when I open the garage door and head off to work? If only I could catch it in a jar like fireflies, when I was a child, and let its magic paint my day. Why do I let go of the hand that greets me each day, pulling me up from my bed and calling me to come and play? Why would I be content to sleep through the day and awake only for the dawn? The dawn announces a new day, hours of life, opportunity, hope and growth yet itself has only a life span of minutes. Hours or minutes-is there really a choice? I who use coupons when I shop, to save a few cents, why would I choose to pay such a price? A new day is dawning. The emphasis is on the day not the dawn. Ah, maybe, at last, it has finally dawned on me.


     Good day all! For whatever reason, I have been nudged to dust off this post I had placed a while back on my blog. Since I did know many of you then, I hope you will not find offense in my re-posting it again here. It is a soft reflective piece that after re-editing, I am appreciative that this gift of insight was bestowed to me. Since it is a nice Sunday here in the Midwest USA, I felt like sharing some of the sun via text. Enjoy!


      I wonder how things may be or could have been; maybe to experience life in someone else's shoes to experience a different perspective. Maybe there is something I am missing. Sometimes I get to thinking about stuff that I know probably is unhealthy, but sometimes it feels good. It is like retrieving my blanket from childhood that is tattered and forbidden to someone of my age. Sometimes I don’t care; I simply want to think about stuff. Stuff that makes me better understand not only me but others. I find that by thinking about these things, perhaps traveling in lands that may be scary, dark, and threatening, I emerge on the other side with a wisdom achieved only by overcoming pain, or comfortably sitting in the warm spot left behind by others who have gone before me.

     Sometimes I wish I was blind. I often wonder if it would keep me from seeing the color of skin, the color of a flag, the size of a house, or the dilapidated car a person has to drive. I am by no means prejudiced or am I at all one to judge a person's life path or disposition. I find I am the first to dive in the fire to stand up for one who may endure the judgment of others because of an external appearance. I just wonder if being blind I would only listen to the music of one's voice. I wonder if I would only hear the symphony of what is going on around me to where most miss the subtle nuances that create the ambient accompaniment of our day to day lives. Would I no longer have to see ones' skin color, hair length, clothing labels, addresses, swagger, and smile? Would a lack of seeing take away assumptions or judgments or the immediate default to an awareness I may be doing so, and a desire to reconnect with my spiritual self? I think I would miss art. I would miss the expression on my loved ones' faces in their reaction to life happening around them. I would miss sunrises and sunsets. Yes, I would miss faces; all faces. I would miss exploring. I would miss the ugliness I confront that prompts me to wonder how I can do my part to overcome it. Sometimes I wish I was blind. Only sometimes.

     Sometimes I wish I was deaf. I would be able to no longer hear the words of people trying to discourage others due to the differences in thought, politics, religion, sex, race, and creed. I would not hear words of hate. I would not hear the anger spewing from people who do not seem to desire to understand and accept that there are others who exist in difference to be able to allow the difference in myself to exist in my own unique beauty. I wonder if being deaf I would not be tempted to listen to the gossip and negative stories that are abundant and tempting. The stories that allow us to self righteously feel we are better, privileged, or separate. I too then think I would miss the songs that come from my children as they hum a non-descript tune they make up as they swing, or play. I would miss the trickle of water as it calms me while I sit in the presence of a creek side. I would miss the whisper of the wind as it passes through the trees while I quietly sit and reflect on my patio. Birds; I would miss the song of birds. Sometimes I wish I was deaf. Only sometimes.

     Sometimes I wish I were mute. I would have to give up trying to show my smarts in a conversation which often times ends up being a lesson in ignorance. I would no longer be able to simply wait to talk, but would have to eternally listen. I would be placed in a position to see that connection does not exclusively come from dialogue, but the ability to become silent in the presence of another. I may find that my not speaking connects me as much as when I open my mouth. I would lose my ability to vocalize my anger and not be able to use my words which can cut like a knife and often take longer to heal. I think though that I would miss the ability to say a kind word to someone. I find that what nourishes me the most is the ability to verbally pick someone up when they have fallen. I also like to pass on words of encouragement and enlightenment to my children. I like sharing stories and laughter with those around me. I would miss speaking maybe more than those around me. I must remember to use my words as if they were precious and in limited supply. Sometimes I wish I were mute. Only sometimes.

     Sometimes I wish I were disabled. I often wonder what it would be like to rely on others for movement, for food, for companionship. I wonder if I would perhaps gain a better appreciation of my surroundings and the significance to where I spend my time. Perhaps I would see the precious gift I have in health and mobility and better understand the significance of being able to enter and exit my location at will. I may reflect on the monumental blessing of being able to go out into the world and connect with others when I find now I may be too lazy to reach out, or call, or visit a loved one. I wonder if I would take care of myself better. I wonder if I would realize that the gift of companionship or company is a gift I can freely share where others who have abundance are stifled by the lack of the ability to drive, or pick up a phone. I guess I can look around to see where I may be able to reach out. I can look at ways that I can extend myself more so to those who may find solitude sometimes excruciating, and the silence of being alone deafening. I guess I do take mobility for granted. I need to think of that more. Sometimes I wish I were disabled. Only sometimes.

     Sometimes I wish I were physically different. Maybe obese or missing a limb, or with a unique disfiguration. It may teach me to be able to appreciate walking into a room without someone snickering or judging under furrowed brow. I would be better able to understand what it is like to blend in, to find that I am bland enough to not draw looks from others in fear or contempt. I could appreciate going for a long walk, the ease of playing with my children on a trampoline. I could find that my smile would be the first thing that is seen by others as opposed to that which makes me different. I may be able to stop taking for granted that my "label" would be my name and not my disposition, “the fat one”, “the short one”,” the weird one.” I would appreciate the music of my name more so as it would be used to identify me and not my condition. My shape is not who I am. Sometimes I wish I were physically different. Only sometimes.

     As I reflect I see how by sometimes wondering, sometimes placing myself in a different situation, I am better able to be compassionate. My compassion and awareness of the needs of others I find is paramount to understanding who I am and my place in the world. Sometimes I lament that I am unable to help someone in one of the above situations, but now find I am wrong in that assumption. I can always extend compassion, and respect those with needs and affliction with the respect I will desire when negative circumstances come into my life. Sometimes I will not follow through, and sometimes I will fail myself and others when my actions will not live up to what I already am aware. Sometimes I will need the same compassion extended to me, and sometimes by not receiving it, I will perhaps be reminded of its' value and importance. Sometimes.

Lunch Meeting

I distinctly remember that day's lunch at the company Food Court. We had just started eating when we heard a gentle "meaow." In the midst of the lunch hour din that often made it impossible for us to hear ourselves clearly, this plea by a little cat didn't go unnoticed. We stopped our conversation and turned around. A beautiful white cat was looking up at us with soulful eyes. She was white as the moon, nearly camoflauged by the white floor tiles that she expectantly sat on, eagerly waiting for our hearts to melt.

For those of you wondering how a cat came to be in a company Food Court, let me clarify. It isn't uncommon to see stray cats in India. A couple of them live within the sprawling campus of the company. Every once in a while, they manage to sneak into the Food Court, which is this massive and airy building on ground level, with huge glass panels as side doors that, when left open, let the cats in along with the breeze.

As a chorus of "Aww she's so sweet" emanated from our group and others sitting around, some of us broke pieces of roti (Indian bread) and put them on the ground for her, much to the chagrin of the housekeeping staff who looked at us disapprovingly. Which one would it be, housekeeping policy or the cat? Uh... not much of a choice there. The cat of course.

She trod towards the roti pieces, sniffed them suspiciously at first, and then decided they would do. One piece at a time, she munched away, looking very content after each swallow. There's something about feeding animals that is so satisfying. Interestingly, when I see their thirst quenched, or their tummies filled, I feel so content myself that my own hunger and thirst seem to vanish. If I and the animal who just ate or drank were on a sunny beach, we'd probably lie on our backs and go to sleep, drunk on sweet contentment! 


Our moonlight cat wanted seconds. When she was done, she confidently strode off, leaving the last two roti pieces lying on an otherwise spotlessly clean floor. Housekeeping was not pleased. Nope.

I picked up the neglected pieces and threw them in the nearest trashcan. As I got back to my meal, a movement to my left distracted me. I turned around and saw moonlight cat walking back towards me. She came to the side of my chair, looked up at me with her soulful eyes, and let out a grateful "meaow." She then turned around and walked back, losing herself in the crowd of tables and chairs. She had come back just to say thank you! If she were a dog, I would have reached out and patted her on the back, probably given her a tummy rub too. But she's a cat. And I think cats like their space, and they like others to respect their space too!

So I smiled at her and said "You're very welcome!"